Closing arguments near end in murder trial

Freedom New Mexico

The attorney for one of two Clovis men on trial for first-degree murder said even if his client was at the scene during the shooting of a 10-year-old Clovis boy two years ago, his presence alone is not an indication of his guilt.

Roger Bargas said during his closing argument Wednesday the testimony of prosecution witnesses against David Griego was not credible because their stories have changed too much.

Bargas said even if his client was at the scene, he didn’t intend to do anything nor did he participate in the shooting.

Griego, 31, did not take the stand during the eight-day trial nor did Bargas offer an alibi for his client in his closing.

Griego and Demetrio Salas, 21, are accused of killing Carlos Perez in September 2005 as he slept.

District Attorney Matt Chandler spent about two hours reconstructing the testimony in the case for the Roosevelt County jury during his closing argument.

Chandler said two witnesses placed Griego and Salas in a Suburban outside the apartment complex the night Perez was shot.

He said on that night five people went on a mission to kill Ruben Perez, and even though Carlos Perez was the ultimate casualty, the intent remained the same. Ruben was sleeping next to his brother at the time of the killing, police said.

Salas’ attorney, Gary Mitchell, was expected to present his closing argument after a lunch recess.

Edward Salas, 21, and Noe Torres, 28, also face murder charges in the case.

Orlando Salas, 17, was already sentenced in the case, although his refusal to testify in court last week may have jeopardized his plea agreement. Edward, Orlando and Demetrio Salas are brothers.

First-degree murder is punishable by at least 30 years in prison without parole.